Sustainable Urban Mobility

Saving energy, leading a more sustainable lifestyle and improving the quality of life are becoming increasingly important for European cities and local authorities. Urban transport is a major consumer of energy and emitter of greenhouse gases, and cities of different sizes have thus a crucial role in contributing to EU 2020 targets of improving the energy efficiency and cutting down greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving these goals can ensure the attractiveness of our cities as places worth living, today and tomorrow.

In order to meet these targets, cities need to adopt a more integrated approach to sustainable mobility planning and policy making to deal with the complexity of urban transport systems in the best possible way. This means working together across sectors, connecting the cities with their surrounding areas and acknowledging the interdependence between transport modes. The need for an integrated approach has been expressed in the key EU policy documents on Urban Mobility (Action Plan on Urban mobility 2009, Transport White Paper 2011).

Sustainable urban mobility planning is strongly promoted by the EU as a comprehensive approach to develop sustainable transport systems and mobility behaviour at the local and regional level. Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) define a set of interrelated measures designed to satisfy the mobility needs of people and businesses today and tomorrow.

During the past years, several tools have been developed to help cities set up and further develop their sustainable mobility policies and plans, including practical guides and quality management tools.  UBC Sustainable Cities Commission has been involved in several projects offering support and guidance to cities willing to take the leap to the next level and become a more sustainable city in terms of mobility.

Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMPs)

Sustainable urban mobility planning is a way of tackling transport-related problems in urban areas in a more strategic way. It is a new planning paradigm promoting a shift from a car oriented planning approach to planning with people as its focus and support for the use of sustainable modes of transport. The policies and measures in a SUMP cover all modes and forms of transport mobility in the entire urban agglomeration. UBC Sustainable Cities Commission is involved in several projects (CIVITAS DYN@MO, CH4LLENGE, Eltisplus) supporting the take-up of SUMPs in European cities. 

Quality management for sustainable urban mobility policies

Many European cities are facing challenges when it comes to setting up and implementing truly sustainable mobility policies and measures. Due to limited financial and human resources, cities need to choose the right measures in the local context to improve the sustainability of their transport systems. The QUEST project has developed a Quality Management tool to help especially small and medium-sized cities to set up and further develop their sustainable mobility policies and actions with the assistance of an external expert – the QUEST Auditor.

Related projects